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9790 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2008 9:09 PM by Swampy1970
lrtoburen3 Rookie 6 posts since
Jul 9, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 3, 2007 6:59 AM

Battling Numbness

For those of you who are seasoned cyclists, I have an embarrassing problem that I need some advice on. 


I am a relatively new triathlete.  I have competed in three sprint triathlons this season and I am currently training for the South Carolina Half Iron Man in September.  During my last two biking sessions - rides of 25 and 35 miles - I have experienced numbness in my groin (this is as tactful as I can say it without getting graphic) area that has lasted from hours to a day.  Here are my questions:


Is this normal? 

Should I be worried about this?

Can saddles make as much difference as I've read about?

What saddles are the best to relieve pressure on the perenial nerve?


I'm 37 yrs. old and don't want to do anything that would affect my enjoyment or performance in the long run when it comes to being married to my beautiful wife.


Thanks for your feedback!


Concerned Triathlete

  • omabikeryder Legend 289 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 5, 2007 2:15 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    Pretty short distances to be getting numbness.  So I would say no its not that normal.  Should you be concerned, I would be a little concerned.  Time for a new saddle?  Probably.  Which one is best?  The one you like best.  Lots of posts about saddles, go back and look at some of them.  Before doing anything, have you been fitted to your bike by a professional?  That is step one.  Without proper fit something will hurt.

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 7, 2007 9:45 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    I agree with the previous writer.  OMI is correct. Fit is key. A day of subsequent numbness seems prolonged however and even a medical check up might not be unreasonable. 

    Numerous saddles on the market. Some I thought I might love I hate and vice versa. Usually shops will let you test them and return if not satisfied. (Otherwise no one would buy them.) It is okay to ask about this.

    Good luck. Let us know what works.


  • eddie G Amateur 10 posts since
    Oct 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 6, 2007 1:16 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness


    You mentioned that you are a NEW long and how often have you been riding? We all experience numbness in the beginning after a few months of riding it will eventually go away that is of course if you have the perfect fit. All cyclists have different style of riding. Some of us like our seat tilted up some like it tilted down, I personally like my seat level. You should try different positions if you still have discomfort after a few months you might want to try a different seat or visit a bike shop for a professional fit.



    Remember the softer the seat doesn't necessarily mean the better the comfort. To all his own. You have to try different seat and see which one fits you best. Don't forget numbness in the beginning is normal we all go through it.



    Hope this helps....






  • Anthony_All3 Legend 237 posts since
    Aug 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 26, 2007 3:18 AM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    I am battling a differnet issue right now but may be able to offer some new advice. I have IT band issues with my left knee. I thought it would hands down be a problem with my IT band right? Wrong, it is actually my riding position, more specifically, the position my spine is on while I ride. Usually when riding your spine is not in a nuetral position, it is curved, pulling on your nerves and every thing else thats runs through your legs and groin area. You may want to visit a chiropractor, or maybe even a PT to help evaluate your position and help work on extension exercises for you lower back. After all, the nerve endings in the groin ultamitely run through your lower back, which is greatly effected by cycling. Good luck!







  • mstrang Amateur 32 posts since
    Jun 23, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 29, 2008 10:07 AM (in response to Anthony_All3)
    Re: Battling Numbness


    When I first started cycling I had the same groin problem and I asked at my LBS and he said I was sitting too fa forward on my seat so I pushed back a little more and havent had the problem since.



  • nrmedik Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 2, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 9, 2008 10:36 AM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    I agree with the other replies that the seat position plays a huge role even an adjustment of one notch on the angle may help. It all depends on your personal prefrence you need to try and make small adjustments after each ride until you have it where it is best for you. As far as the numbness lasting upwards of a day later you should probably check with your doctor that seems like way to prolonged a time.

  • Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 29, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 12, 2008 12:33 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness


    My husband has a gel saddle with a cut-out in a "strategic" location.  He bought that saddle because he'd heard from others that it was very comfortable and he'd had problems with numbness before.  (He also bought that saddle against the advice of the bike shop owner.)  He hates that saddle!  He still has problems with numbness despite the perfect fit and the strange profile of his bike.  He needs a new saddle but refuses to go back to the shop to trade that one in and try another.  He also needs better fitting shorts - his are too loose.  Could that be a problem for you?  It does sound like you need to see a doctor, though.  Get your back or neck checked out - it all stems from there.









  • Pastor Matthew Amateur 11 posts since
    Apr 28, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 13, 2008 2:10 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness


    I think if I was you I would get it checked out, especially if you are being tactful and mean another area. I think that the person speaking of sitting farther back on the saddle has a great point. I used to have a little numbness in my toes and left leg but when I moved back in the saddle a little bit I have not had as much difficulty. I have also been riding more and perhaps have increased my tolerance and strength in this area.



    I hope that this helps. 



  • Dtimes2 Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 1, 2008 5:20 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    If yur talking penile numbness, you might wnat to consider a cutout saddle. It is cut out in the center and puts less pressure on the arteries that supply your *****. More blood flow means less numbness.

  • strangerthanfitness Pro 120 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 10, 2008 10:50 AM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness

    I used to have the same problem, then I changed saddles.  I chose the Racing saddle from ISM (Adamo).  I love the saddle, it looks a little odd, but it fixed the problem right away.

  • Swampy1970 Rookie 6 posts since
    Dec 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 10, 2008 9:09 PM (in response to lrtoburen3)
    Re: Battling Numbness


    Concerned triathete,



    You haven't posted anything specific so I'll throw out something other than the saddle...



    Are you having this problem only when racing in an aero position on the tri/aero bars? Try riding your bike in a non-aero position, with your hands on the brake lever hoods, and see if you suffer from the same problem. If you don't get the problem then ride on the drops (or as low as you can go depending on what style of handbar you have) and see what happens then. It could well be that in your race position you arm pads (if you're using tri-bars) or handlebars are too far away forcing you to ride on a part of the saddle that's not agreeing with your "wedding tackle"



    Specialized do the Body Geometry line of saddles that come in different styles, weights and more importantly, several widths in each style.



    Shorts - don't skimp on shorts... I don't know what the deal is with shorts and triathalons but for cycling a nice pair of shorts are worth their weight in gold.



    Have someone check your bike position in general. It could be that you have the saddle too high and not set correctly for tilt and fore/aft positioning. A really good starting point can be found here:





    The man behind those recommendations, Andy Pruitt, is also the brains behind the Specialized Body Geometry shoes and one of the best biomechanical guys in the country. So whilst they may seem a little rudimentary, he's got a lot of experience behind that advise...



    Being that i'm not the bashful type, I'll just put it out there that if you're more than a few pounds overweight then that could be an issue.



    Hope things work out and  you get to enjoy both types of 'riding'











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